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Displaying items by tag: Bluescale Map Series

Ireland’s national seabed mapping programme, INFOMAR completes its Bluescale Map Series with the release of its stunning map of the Aran Islands.

Now all 18 maps in the series are available for free to the public, in English and now as Gaeilge.

Staring on 11 August this year, INFOMAR released a new instalment each week in its series of bespoke, high-resolution bathymetric maps of Irish coastal waters.

Developed by a dedicated team of hydrographers, data processors and cartographers, the maps highlight the topography of the coast in remarkable detail.

Thomas Furey, INFOMAR joint programme manager at the Marine Institute, emphasised the dual significance of this release.

“The Bluescale Map Series is a testament on our commitment to both data quality and improving public accessibility of data,” he said. “The release of all maps as Gaeilge also represents our efforts in promoting linguistic inclusivity and connecting with Gaeltacht communities nationwide.”

The full map of the Aran Islands and Galway Bay in the Irish language, released along with all 17 other maps as Gaeilge | Credit: INFOMARThe full map of the Aran Islands and Galway Bay in the Irish language, released along with all 17 other maps as Gaeilge | Credit: INFOMAR

The series’ final map of the Aran Islands showcases some of Ireland’s most unique and dynamic coastal landscapes.

The Aran Islands are a group of three islands at the mouth of Galway Bay, off the West Coast of Ireland, with a total area around 46 sq km (18 sq mi). From west to east, the islands are Inis Mór (Árainn), which is the largest; Inis Meáin, the second-largest; and Inis Oírr, the smallest. There are also several islets.

The islands’ geology is mainly karst limestone, related to the Burren in Co Clare to the east, not the granites of Connemara to the north. Solutional processes have widened and deepened the grykes of the limestone pavement.

Pre-existing lines of weakness in the rock (vertical joints) contribute to the formation of extensive fissures separated by clints (flat, pavement-like slabs). The rock karstification facilitates the formation of subterranean drainage.

Speaking about the addition of maps as Gaeilge, Seán Cullen, INFOMAR joint programme manager at the Geological Survey Ireland said: “These maps aim to offer Irish Speakers an opportunity to engage with marine science in their native tongue and provide a means of communicating complex scientific data to the broader public.”

Michael Gillooly, interim CEO of the Marine Institute added: “The Gaeltacht constitutes 25% of the overall Irish coastline so I am delighted to see this new series of unique maps now available as Gaeilge.”

Published in Environment

Explore the depths of Dublin Bay, from Killiney to Howth, in remarkable detail thanks to a new addition to INFOMAR’s Bluescale Map Series.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the collection when complete will comprise 18 high-resolution bathymetric maps highlighting the topography of Ireland’s coastal waters in unprecedented detail.

The newest high-resolution map highlights the unique and intricate landscapes that lie beneath the waves of Ireland’s capital, from Ireland’s Eye to Dalkey Island.

Co Dublin has a coastline of approximately 170km and showcases some of the Ireland’s most unique coastal landscapes. The latest in the new map series is the bluescale bathymetric map of Dublin Bay, which reveals the iconic Irish Sea and complex sandbanks across the capital’s coastline.

Dublin Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea on Ireland’s east coast, spanning approximately 10km wide at its base and 7km in length from Howth Head to Dalkey Island.

Detail of Howth Head on the north side of Dublin Bay, highlighting some of the numerous shipwrecks mapped by INFOMAR in the Irish Sea | Credit: INFOMARDetail of Howth Head on the north side of Dublin Bay, highlighting some of the numerous shipwrecks mapped by INFOMAR in the Irish Sea | Credit: INFOMAR

The bay encompasses notable features such as North Bull Island, housing a 5km sandy beach known as Dollymount Strand and an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve.

Dublin Bay once had two inshore sand banks, the North Bull and the South Bull; the construction of the Bull Wall resulted in the rapid formation of North Bull Island, while the Great South Wall failed to create an island, leaving the South Bull as mud flats and strand.

Offshore, there are additional sandbanks, including Kish Bank with its lighthouse. 135 Clontarf or Mud Island, previously depicted on maps, has since disappeared.

INFOMAR is making this and all other maps in the Bluescale Map Series available for free to the public to download in high resolution JPEG format. Follow the journey each week until mid December as a new map is released on the INFOMAR website and join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Published in Environment

See the iconic Wexford coastline, from Hook Head to Carnsore Point, in remarkable detail thanks to a new series of maps added to INFOMAR’s Bluescale Map Series.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the collection will comprise 18 high-resolution bathymetric maps highlighting the topography of Ireland’s coastal waters in unprecedented detail.

The latest high-resolution maps, charting the area from Rosslare Harbour to Cahore Point, highlight the unique and intricate landscapes that lie beneath the waves.

Co Wexford has a coastline of some 273km and showcases some of the Ireland’s most unique coastal landscapes.

The first of the Model County maps, released on Friday 3 November, is the Bluescale bathymetric map of Hook Head.

Historically called Rindowan, Hook Head is a headland on the east side of the estuary of The Three Sisters (Rivers Nore, Suir and Barrow). It is part of the Hook Peninsula and is adjacent to the historic townland of Loftus Hall.

This area is the location of Hook Lighthouse, the oldest working lighthouse in the world and one of 70 lighthouses operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights around the coast of Ireland, playing a vital role in maritime safety.

The Hook Peninsula is composed of many rock types including sedimentary limestone and sandstone. The outcrops around Hook Head consist of abundant exposures of Lower Carboniferous rocks in foreshore platforms, containing beautifully preserved crinoids, bryozoans, bivalves, corals and brachiopods.

An excerpt from the bluescale map of Carnsore Point and environs in Co Wexford that will be released by INFOMAR on Friday 10 NovemberAn excerpt from the bluescale map of Carnsore Point and environs in Co Wexford that will be released by INFOMAR on Friday 10 November

Next Friday (10 November) the second Model County map, of Carnsore Point, will be made available.

Carnsore Point is marks the southernmost point of the Irish Sea, on the western side of St George’s Channel. A large, offshore area wrapped around the point is a Marine Protected Area (MPA) for its reefs and species-rich underwater life.

The intertidal and offshore reefs are formed of Carnsore granite, a coarse pinkish-brown rock, and range from very exposed to moderately exposed to wave action. In water at depths of 11-30m there are excellent examples of sea squirt communities. Intricate sandbanks lie due east of the headland and north into the Irish Sea.

Since 2006, INFOMAR’s seabed mapping efforts have been instrumental in enhancing our understanding of Ireland's underwater landscape.

The Bluescale Map series offers a new and unique way not only to showcase the mapping effort to date, but also to visualise and communicate complex scientific information to the wider public.

As with all INFOMAR data, these high-resolution maps are available for free to download and have huge potential to communicate with local coastal communities and raise awareness on the importance of maintaining the health and integrity of our marine environment.

INFOMAR is making all 18 maps available for free to the public to download in high resolution JPEG format. Follow the journey each week until mid December as a new map is released on the INFOMAR website and join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Published in Coastal Notes

INFOMAR has launched its Bluescale Map Series — a collection that will comprise 18 high-resolution bathymetric maps highlighting the topography of Ireland’s coastal waters in unprecedented detail.

The series is the culmination of over a decade of work and highlights the intricate landscapes that lie beneath the waves.

Developed by a dedicated team of hydrographers, data processors and cartographers, each map is carefully drawn to include the latest high-resolution INFOMAR bathymetry data.

From this week until mid December, INFOMAR will be releasing a new map of a different section of Ireland’s 3,171km coastline, which boasts some of the most unique and dynamic environments in Europe, to download for free.

The first in the series is the bluescale bathymetric map of Galway Bay. Follow the journey each week as a new map is released on the INFOMAR website and join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

In 2006, the INFOMAR (Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resource) programme was established and is currently one of the world’s largest and leading seabed mapping programmes.

Funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, the programme is a joint venture by the Marine Institute and Geological Survey Ireland and aims to map Ireland’s seabed and deliver a comprehensive baseline bathymetry dataset to underpin the future management of Ireland’s marine resource.

Published in Environment

Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020